President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the National Planning Commission (NPC) to produce a framework to reduce recurrent expenditure and prioritize development projects in the 2016 national budget.
Speaking on Monday at the Presidential Villa after receiving a briefing from the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Bassey Akpanyung.
Buhari ordered Akpanyung and NPC directors to ensure that capital projects must now be given the fullest possible priority because Nigeria cannot achieve real development without adequate investment in capital and infrastructural projects.
“In carrying out its role in surveillance of the economy, review and appraisal of policies, the Commission should devise a plan for a realignment of the budget so that capital projects can be really prioritized,” the President directed.
The Executive Secretary of the NPC had informed the President that Nigeria’s planning system was beset by many challenges.
These challenges, he said, included the non-alignment of national plans with the annual budget and inadequate capacity in the departments of Planning, Research and Statistics in the various government ministries.
Addressing State House correspondents later, Akpanyung said “we came to brief the president on the activities of the National Planning Commission which the covers mainly the preparation of long term and medium term plans for the economy.
“We used the opportunity to inform him that we already have on the ground a perspective plan that is national vision 20:20:20 and we in the process of developing a medium term plan to cover Vision 2016 to 2019 which will address the core elements of this present administration’s priorities.
“We sought his support to the articulation and finalisation of that document because his pronouncement on it will assist us in rapidly doing so.
“Planning will make it effective from 2016 to 2019. So, we should be working already very seriously to pick out the elements that will form the document
“The core areas: security, the areas of diversification, the area of re-stabilising the polity, the micro economic situation that are going to be addressed.
“Of course, we can’t forget the issues of unemployment, agriculture in the real sectors. These are the areas that will drive and ensure that the employment situation is improved upon and that will impart the poverty level.”
Source: Daily Independent